Parenting Henri

this is about henri, and the parenting thereof

Snapshot 2012/07/31

I can’t seem to muster up the brainpower/ambition to write a real blog post about Henri, despite the fact that he continues to be the most amazing kid ever… However, I figure I can at least handle a bulleted list so we have some record of what he’s like during this critical “almost not an only child anymore” time period.  So, here goes:

HENRI at 4 years, 109 days, 6 hrs & 42 minutes

  • Physical Appearance.  Well, most notably, Henri currently has a shaved head.  A week or so ago, he took it upon himself to cut the front of his hair himself, the natural consequence of which was that we shaved his head that night.  (I’ve also hid the scissors for the time being.)  I can’t say that either Dada or I were very surprised; after all, I did the same thing when I was Henri’s age.  And I’m pretty sure Henri learned his lesson as he later stated, and I quote, “With my head shaved I look like an alien. Damn, I shouldn’t have shaved my head.”
  • Favorite Pastimes.  I’ve been working with Henri to play independently for most of the day (good transition for the coming days/years when my attention will no longer be solely focused on him), and I find that he {still} chooses cars & trucks 95.5% of the time.  However, he does love to dress up–yesterday, he was a character named “girly girl” who wore pink high heels, a turquoise beanie, and a raccoon sleep mask as a headband.  Very metro.  When he does have Dada’s help/attention, Legos are the favorite along with board games coming in a close second.
  • Bedtime Routine.  Another facet of independence (read: bone of contention) we’ve been working on is Henri getting himself ready for bed–pajamas, teeth & pottying.  At the beginning of the summer, I came up with the plan for us to help him with “one” task, while he did the other two.  This proved to be quite a challenge because–until very recently–he was scared to go in either the bathroom or his bedroom alone.  Well, we followed that plan for a while, which was like pulling out our own hair strand by strand.  But, magically, after being gone on vacay for a couple of weeks, we returned home and basically just started saying it was time for bed, he needed to get his p.j.’s, etc. and–he does it!  Most of the time.  Sometimes he does it without us telling him ten times or more, too!
  • Speaking of Pottying…  Henri still refuses to bear the responsibility of putting his pee “where it goes.”  Though he has a little more success with the pooping.  Emphasis on “little.”  Seeing as we’ve tried all known approaches to potty training this child, we’ve now resorted to literally not caring whether or not he’s successful in any way.  (Note: this is *almost* the polar opposite of pretending to not care” whether or not he’s successful, as–in that instance–you’re still in supercharged “I care more about this than my kid does” mode.)  Seriously, my only strategy at this point is reminding myself daily that I shouldn’t worry about something that will eventually take care of itself.  <–still one of the best pieces of parenting advice I’ve ever taken.  While this doesn’t make potty training go by any quicker (or at all), it does keep me at a safe distance from the issue, if not sane.  Worst case scenario, we will still be bargaining with Henri well into his teenage years when the stakes are much higher. *If you stay dry all day today, we’ll let you borrow the car!*
  • Wit & Intelligence.  I’ve backed off quite a bit on the workbooks and “learn something new each day” mantra, but–safe to say–Henri continues to be quite the smarty.  He can read & write about 15-20 sight words, and can sound out many more.  His concepts of time & money are coming right along, and he can count to a million thousand or higher.  More importantly, he comes up with the best knock-knock jokes and makes up songs that last for hours.  He loves to read books, both to learn and to fantasize.  Sure, he still has PTSD from having to–gasp!–leave the house to go to school 3 days a week this past year, but–hey–so do I. 😉
  • The Immediate Future.  With us buying a house in Boston, which we’ll be moving to shortly after Baby Wayne is born, Henri’s got quite a few changes coming up in his fifth year of life.  However, he seems to be taking it all in stride.  He’s excited about having a new room & playroom and living where it snows, though he continues to persist in his plan to take my mom’s dog, Roxy, with us when we go.  As for being a big brother, I decided Henri was ready to take on this role when he announced his new career goal: being a baby delivery guy.  You might think this means we have to start saving money for medical school, but, actually, I understand it to be more like a UPS truck driver who only works for diapers.com.  I was so proud when I heard this–for Henri, driving a truck is equatable to winning the megamillions for the rest of us, and him combining this with the smelliest part of his new baby brother seemed to indicate more than willingness on his part to be mommy’s helper.  Then I realized that, for a 4-year-old, this is probably just the way his brain works. Reality: baby brother’s coming; Fantasy: I’ll then be old enough to drive a truck.  Put those two together and you’ve got the perfect career: baby delivery guy.

Well, that’s all for now.  Though not as eloquent as I typically strive for, I think this list will at least serve as a reminder that the awesome Henri remains to be just that.  Awesome.

 

You’ll Be Glad to Know Henri Is Still Alive 2011/01/05

As am I…

Rather than fill you in on the past six months, or fill you up with excuses like the fact that I was teaching five classes and thus responsible for 99 students (!), I’ll just tell you what happened today.

After a blissful day at home watching cartoons-on-demand (Henri) and blogging (mom-mom), we multi-tasked. Henri bathed, while I fed him and read books in preparation for nap.  I then lathered him down with lotion as I have since he was a baby, despite protests from the boy who is no longer a baby.  Next, we read a final book and he talked himself to sleep in the “family nap” bed.

An hour and a half later, he woke up.  More specifically, he sat up and said, “I slept good.”  L-U-V.  Henri is never as sweet as when he’s slept good.  So, I put him on my lap, got his shoes, and began to explain that we had to go see one of mommy’s doctors.  “Are you sick?” he asked.  “No, I just go to talk about my feelings.”

We then drive to the appointment, which took about 30 minutes thanks to 3:30 PM traffic (WTF!?!), and–after a brief stop at Payless in which mom-mom got some awesome slipper shoes that are oh-so-cozy–we went into the building where my therapist is.  “We’re just going to walk up these stairs, and all the way down the hall,” I explain.  “How do you feel?” he responds.  How do I feel? “You mean, what am I going to talk to my doctor about?”  He nods his head.  “Oh, I feel pretty good, I guess.”  (And I do.)

Later, on the way home, after a backseat exclamation of “This is fun!” (“It is? I’m glad you like it…”), he says, “I want to hear that ‘I can’t stomp’ song.”  I think for a minute, trying to come up with a kids CD that has song about stomping on it.

“The What Song?” I stall.

“The ‘I can’t STOMP song!'”

“Ohhhhhh…. the “I can’t stop song…?”

“Yeah. I can’t stomp.”

So, I find Ratitude, pop it in, turn it up, and sing at the top of my lungs all the way home, grateful for a kid who likes Weezer and those times when, really, my life is a party I don’t want to leave.  Did I forget to mention we’d also picked up cupcakes?

 

TRASH! (yuk!) 2009/02/11

after teaching henri a couple signs that ended up being not-actually-sign-language, mark & i visited a baby signing class at the local library.  we learned 10 *real* signs, plus words/signs to a new song (more milk…more milk…please may i have more milk…) and signs to “twinkle, twinkle little star.”  other than acquiring a surefire method to torture henri while he’s in his delicate teenage angst-years (more milk…more milk…please may i have more milk…), it was a neat experience, which affirmed for me, yet again, that mark and i are alone in our fight against a world of overly-weird parents.  well, i guess i did get a little teary-eyed when the teacher told us the story of how her partially deaf son finally signed “more” for the first time–not in response to food, as they had hoped and expected, but after an exhilarating throw, up in the air, by his daddy *sniff sniff.

despite the teacher telling us to introduce “maybe one or two signs a week,” we were eager beavers and started laying them on thick as buttuh on a grilled english muffin.  and, of course, we’ve sung the song at least a thousand times (more milk…more milk…please can i have more milk…).  poor henri was so overwhelmed that he just started making the “mixing” motion for patty-cake anytime mark and i would start signing.  he halfheartedly signed “more” once, before acquiring his newest bit of language–unh, unh, unh–which, similar to his previous favorite word THAT, can basically take the place of all signing/language put together.

but–finally–(yes this posting has a point, thank you)–this week, he signed his first true sign!  it’s TRASH!.  yes, i know the sign for trash, because i asked our teacher during Q&A.  and, boy am i glad i did.  henri cannot only sign TRASH!, he signs it with gusto!!  he signs it like there’s no tomorrow!!  he absolutely loves signing TRASH! (now a synonym for yuk!).  best of all, seeing henri sign TRASH! more than makes up for the odd look on the teacher’s face when i asked her what the sign was, not to mention all of the other parents trying to pretend like they hadn’t heard what i said, or that i hadn’t said it all.  hey, a mother knows her son, okay?  somehow, i must’ve known that henri would l-o-v-e to sign TRASH!  so there.

makes me want to say/sing/sign: More Trash! More Trash! Please can I have More Trash??? Mine’s All Gone…! I Want More Trash!!!